Man Turns Water-Damaged iPhone 3GS Into New iPhone 4

Matt was able to turn his water-damage iPhone 3GS into a new iPhone 4 for only $200, even though he hadn’t reached his upgrade time yet, thanks to a lot of persistence, and a little bit of mercy.

He says a “freak accident” made his iPhone 3GS plop into a cup of water:

Despite my best efforts, irreparable damage was done. My wife will be the first to tell you that I’m virtually attached to my iPhone so this created a rough spot for me. Especially so since I know from others what my options were:

1) Throw myself at the mercy of Apple and hope for a replacement 3GS out of kindness (not likely).
2) Pay $200 now for a replacement 3GS from Apple.
3) Wait for my upgrade time to come along (Feb 20th.) and get an iPhone 4 at $200.

So my wife and I go to our local Apple store the next day and no dice on Apple charity. I’m left with options 2 and 3 but I don’t want to go with 2 (I wanted to upgrade) and don’t want to wait for 3. Since we were at the mall anyway, the AT&T store was right by the Apple store. “Why don’t you ask them to move up your upgrade time,” my wife says. After all, her upgrade time got moved up from December to June when the iPhone 4 came out.

I speak with an AT&T rep at the store about pushing up my upgrade time. Unfortunately, she tells me there’s nothing she can do because only the AT&T customer service phone line could approve that. That’s a bit strange but I took her word on it. So I called the AT&T line and the first representative I spoke with was very nice but couldn’t really do anything for me. I wasn’t rude or obnoxious on the phone but I did remind her about my wife’s early upgrade.

That seemed to be enough for her to connect me to a manager. I wish I could remember her name because she was great. She was limited by AT&T policy on iPhones (she couldn’t set it up right over the phone but could and did note my account to reflect approval for an earlier iPhone upgrade). She said there wasn’t a guarantee the AT&T retail store would honor her notes but most do.

I walked back into the AT&T store and had my account checked. Ten minutes and $200 later, I walked out with a new iPhone 4. Say what you will about AT&T’s network but their customer service is really accommodating. I thought I’d be out $200 for a phone I’d want to replace in 3-6 months or stuck without a working phone altogether. Instead, I got to upgrade early without any extra cost. Thanks AT&T!

Good move on pointing out how your wife’s upgrade time got moved up. That seems to have been what mainly did the trick in getting yours pushed forward. Polite, professional and persistent wins the day again!

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